EXTRA INCOME Let's start with the most basic idea behind creating extra income. In order to make money you must perform a service or sell a product that adds value to the buyer. That is a critical idea any time you want to make money. The service or product must ADD VALUE. And the customer must readily see that what you are doing has truly added value. In any money making endeavor that you examine, ask yourself where the real value is. If you are just a middle man, there is little if any value added. Many times there is none. Take for example the idea that you can buy a product at a "wholesale" price and resell it for a "retail" price or sell it to merchants at just a little above your price. Where is the value in that? Can't they buy the same product from the same place you do? My motto is, if you can't buy it for a lot less than Wal-Mart sells it at, don't bite. Steer clear of these types of "opportunities" and stick with products or services where everyone can easily see the value you have added. For instance a doctor adds value by bringing years of experience and knowledge to your health problem. A lawyer adds value the same way. An auto worker adds value by placing the mirror in the new car securely in its proper place. Everything a person gets paid for is based on the assumption that their efforts have added value to the final product or service. Keeping that in mind let's move on to some real examples that might help you make a little extra income. First take a look at your hobbies and other activities that you like to do. No matter what it is: fishing, baking, sewing, painting, playing golf, gardening or anything else, there are many other people that enjoy the same thing. All you have to do is determine how your skill at and knowledge of the activity can help add value to the experience of others. I can't tell you what it is, but I can tell you that with a little creative thinking you can come up with something that will be easy to implement. Just to get you started thinking; read the following examples: Packing Service I have known people who made quite a bit of extra income by operating a packing service for people who are planning on moving. This service adds a lot of value to the people thinking of moving and you can usually charge less than a moving company charges and still make a lot of money. The supplies are simple and easy to obtain with very little investment. A liability insurance policy is also quite cheap for this type of business. Business licenses vary by area. You can run the service just on the weekends or your days off. It can easily bring in several hundred extra dollars a month. Gift Baskets I kind of like this one because it is really simple. Just buy a wicker basket at your local dollar or discount store and fill it with age appropriate items such as lotions, soaps, potpourri, etc. for women. I would stick with baskets for women only. You can make up one basket, determine your cost, and take it to your local grocery store, convenience store, gift shop, flower shop, car wash, etc. and see if they are interested in buying it at a wholesale price you set. If they are, then you can make up more baskets to fill the demand. Decorate the basket with a card for an upcoming holiday such as Mother's Day, Christmas, Halloween, Valentines, Secretaries Day, Grandparents Day, Birthday, etc. There is very little investment because you only prepare one basket, and take it to several different outlets to determine demand. There are gift basket franchises out there that seem to do pretty well. You certainly don't need a franchise, just a flair for making a pretty gift basket that you put together for $5, sell to the merchant for $10 and which the merchant sells for $20. The people that buy the basket will definitely see the value in this product that you have taken the time to assemble and effectively package. Paid Surveys This is a really great way to make some extra money each month. I am a big fan of taking paid online surveys. You can register for free with survey sites and start making a few extra dollars a month by completing surveys for them. I have a complete section about paid online surveys at my paid survey <survey.html> page. I only listed the survey sites that actually are in existence and will actually pay you. Window Washing I'm not talking about commercial services here. The type of window washing I'm thinking about is for homes in your local area. Supplies are easy to obtain as well as insurance and licenses. You can make up ¼ page "business card/fliers" to give out to your neighbors showing your service and the cost. Nobody likes washing their windows at home, so this can really add value to a homeowner's life. You can charge by the window at a rate that is appropriate for your area and for the amount of time you think you will need to complete the job. Note: use powdered dishwasher soap mixed in water with a touch of ammonia and the windows will sparkle when you get through. All you need is a bucket, a squeegee and some old towels. The value is in performing a service that most people don't like to do. Tax Preparation You can buy software that will do simple taxes for hundreds of people. If you like doing this type of numbers work, you can certainly add value to people's lives by doing their simple 1040EZ and state tax forms for them. We are talking about making $20 (or more depending on your area) for ten minutes of part-time work. That can easily be over $100 per hour. And you can electronically file for them for an added fee. The real beauty is that once you do their taxes, you will have a very good chance of doing them again the next year. Put in a good honest 100 hours doing this and you could have an extra $10,000 for a month or two of part-time work. Most people consider this type of quick and efficient tax service a real value. Pet Sitting Since I am a dog lover, I also like this one. You can take care of pets for people going on vacation. I usually recommend that you take care of them at your own home. Just be sure to take care of them as if they were your own, and everything should be okay. Only do one pet at a time. You don't want to be accused of running a kennel. Motels charge an extra $50 to $100 per night for pets, assuming you can even find a motel that will take pets. This can be a very valuable service for someone who knows they are leaving their pet with a responsible person. All you do is feed them, keep water for them, play with them and take them outside (on a leash) when necessary. It can be a real vacation for the dog or cat or bird or lizard or whatever, you do very little extra and $20-30 a night is not out of line. Knowing their pet is taken care of by someone loving and responsible is of immeasurable value to most pet owners. Improve Your Education The best way to make more money than you are making right now is to improve upon your education. This is the long-term key to enjoying a higher salary at any job. All employers are looking for the highest level of education they can find in their employees. The only sure-fire method of improving your long term money prospects is to improve your education level (or invent something that no one can live without)! This adds value to you and your employer, as well as opening up a lot of new doors. However it is not easy to get the education you really need by going to school. It takes time and a lot of money to go to school anywhere. The best way to obtain a higher education if your are currently working is through an online degree. Many states will pay for (or subsidize) your additonal online education. Just contact your state's human services department. Also, many employers will pay for additonal online education for their employees. Contact your employer's personnel office to find out. Learn a Foreign Language Nearly all employers now days are looking for employees who can speak, read or write a foreign language. This is a skill that has long been overlooked. Most employers will gladly pay bi-lingual or multi-lingual employees some type of extra pay or bonus for their skills. In addition, there are many opportunities for multi-lingual individuals to make part time extra income using their knowledge of different languages (besides English). Courts, police departments, government service agencies, schools and hospitals are always looking for full or part-time language specialists. This skill requires no special degree or certification. All you need to do is become fluent in another language. Create an E-book If you have some special and extensive knowledge about a particular hobby, activity or skill, then put it to use and write about it. Maybe you know several different ways to tie knots. Maybe you are really good at making homemade Christmas decorations. Maybe you have extensive knowledge about taking care of a sick loved one. Or maybe you know some special tricks in preparing meals for large or small families. Everyone has some specific and valuable knowledge about something. I can just hear you say, "I don't really know much about anything". My answer to you is "baloney"! You know a lot about several things and you just don't realize it. Sit down and start talking with someone else about what you know. Pretty soon you will realize that you really are an "expert" about something. Whatever it is, write a detailed and extensive "how to" manual about it. You can do it on the computer right there in front of you. Once it is written, there are several ebook publishers that will be interested in it. You can do a web search for "ebook publishers" or "epublishers" and find many sources that will publish your information. Just don't get carried away and spend a lot of money getting it published. You are looking for a non-subsidy (you don't pay) royalty-paying (they pay you for sales) epublisher. You can sell an ebook over and over again. If you only make 50 cents per sell, 10,000 downloads of your book will make you $5,000. The start up cost is just your time in doing the writing and possibly a small fee to get it listed with a reputable ebook publisher or set up your own sales site. Remember, everybody knows something that can bring value to another person's life. Just think of the number of times you wished you had a detailed and clear instruction manual about some task you had to perform. If you have some idea that helps people, adds value to their lives and you are knowledgeable about and want to write an ebook and market it, let me know at my email <mailto:JL@foxway.com>. Perhaps we can work out a good deal. Part-Time Work I list this last because it is not my favorite. Employers love part-time workers. They don't have to provide them any benefits and depending on the job, they are usually pretty easy to train. Part-time work is especially available around Christmas time at retail stores. The problem is the actual time it takes in relation to the money you make. It can take away time from your family and in general make you tired. Having said that, I have worked part-time before and it isn't the end of the world. Just be sure it does not interfere with your regular job or source of income. Also make sure that enough taxes are deducted from your part-time wage. I used to always just claim myself with my part-time employer. If you work hard, are trustworthy and dependable as well as very positive with other employees and customers, you will be a real asset to the employer. Don't be afraid to ask for a raise fairly quickly (after a couple of months). If you are doing a good job, the employer knows it is cheaper to give you a raise and keep you rather than find someone else who might not be as positive and dependable. The value comes through those positive attributes you bring to the job and employers will know that. These are just a very few of the many different VALUE ADDED products, services and ideas you might consider. Anything that adds value to another person's life can be used as the basis for a part-time income business that will make you a few extra dollars each month without a big investment. You can add value by assembling products in special ways, offering services and providing information. You do NOT add value by MLM selling and recruiting, buying "wholesale" or borrowing money to buy something you hope goes up in price. I know I've only discussed the "old-fashioned" way of making money, but it still works. Even more so now that people are always looking for a way to save time by purchasing value added products and services. So turn off the TV and get busy creating ideas, adding value and making some extra money to help increase your savings. In no time you will see how much fun it is and besides, it really can work. Who knows, this might be the very way you can quickly reach your savings goals without investing in some "scheme" that has a 99.9% failure rate.
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